Strategic National Stockpile
An act of terrorism (or a large scale natural disaster) targeting the U.S. civilian population will require rapid access to large quantities of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Such quantities may not be readily available unless special stockpiles are created. No one can anticipate exactly where a terrorist will strike and few state or local governments have the resources to create sufficient stockpiles on their own. Therefore, a national stockpile has been created as a resource for all.
In 1999 Congress charged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the establishment of the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS). In 2003, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS) was renamed the Strategic National Stockpile when it became an asset to the Department of Homeland Security. The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency anywhere and at anytime within the U.S. or its territories. A portion of the SNS called the “Push Pack” is strategically located within the United States in secure warehouses ready for immediate deployment to a designated site within 12 hours of the federal decision to deploy SNS assets. A subsequent delivery to areas will be made within 36 -72 hours. The SNS has been deployed as a response to the events of September 11, 2001 and in response to Hurricane Lili.
In Kent County, we are working hard to ensure that we are prepared to request and receive the Strategic National Stockpile to ensure that we are able to meet the healthcare needs of our community in the event of a disaster or emergency.